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2008 Conferences
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Presentations from the 5th Annual
National Reading First Conference
July 28-30, 2008
Nashville, TN

Breakout Sessions

Leading for Reading Success: Enhancing Instructional Leadership of Reading First Principals download files PDF (431K)

Clint Neighbors and Anneta Buenger, Central Regional Reading First Technical Assistance Center, RMC Research Corporation, Austin, TX

Strong instructional leadership is necessary for program success. This session offers school principals explicit leadership training. Topics include: leading schoolwide change; staffing issues; promoting and supporting a reading culture; aligning programs to support Reading First; using assessment to drive decision-making, curriculum, instruction, and use of time; building teacher capacity through professional development; supporting and collaborating with the reading coach; supervising and supporting with walk-throughs; and recruiting district office support.

Developing a Plan for Sustaining Reading First in Your District download files PDF (540K)

Stan Paine, Western Regional Reading First Technical Assistance Center, RMC Research Corporation, Eugene, OR
Sarah Sayko, National Center for Reading First Technical Assistance, RMC Research Corporation, Arlington, VA
Carolyn Vincent, Reading First Sustainability Project, RMC Research Corporation, Arlington, VA

Aimed at literacy leaders who want to create Reading First sustainability plans in their districts, participants learn how to build logic models into the plan and explore sustainability's key concepts and critical components. An array of resources to support sustainability planning at the local level is reviewed. Note that there are two parts to this training each day, providing a complete overview of the sustainability planning process and resources. Attendance at both sessions is required to receive the workshop materials.

From Assessment to Instruction: A Process for Working with Teachers and Reading Data download files PDF (3M)

Lee Wright and Mary White, Children's Learning Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center–Houston

Reading assessments demand increasing amounts of teachers' time, but often are of little help in pointing to changes in instruction that might result in increased learning. This session examines ways schools can ensure assessments become a valuable component of instruction, as opposed to just one more hoop to jump through or score to report.

Sound Instruction: Phonemic Awareness in Kindergarten and First Grade download files PDF (1.4M)

Roxanne Stuart and Jan Rauth, Consultants, Longview, WA

Phonemic awareness is one of the strongest predictors of success in early reading. Strategies for teaching phonemic awareness, including blending and segmentation for greatest transfer to reading and spelling, and systematic ways to strengthen sound/symbol relationships, are discussed in this interactive session. A second focus is how to use data to assess progress and make instructional decisions. Participants will be ready to teach the "Big Five" building block the first day of school.

Building High Literacy Skills for Comprehending Expository Text download files PDF (407K)

Ann Fiala, Consultant, Austin, TX

Students with high literacy skills know what comprehension strategies to tap to comprehend specific types of text. But all students can improve their reading comprehension skills if they are taught strategies that focus on constructing meaning from the text. Seven strategies for increasing comprehension of expository text are examined, and participants practice three of those strategies with children's books from an annotated bibliography.

Making the Most of Observation: Strategies for Coaches and Principals download files PDF (868K)

Sharon Walpole, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
Michael McKenna, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Professional learning is only effective when it makes its way into daily classroom practice. This session describes formative observations as part of a professional development system. The system includes new learning, demonstration, practice, and feedback. Strategies for school-wide walk-throughs, for observations of the entire literacy block, and for targeted observations of specific instructional strategies are discussed, and guidance is offered for creating a climate that supports ongoing, nonthreatening formative observations.

Doing What Works (DWW) with English Learners Part I: Vocabulary and Academic English download files PDF (856K)

Chris Dwyer and Peggy Simon, RMC Research Corporation, Portsmouth, NH
Carolyn Vincent, RMC Research Corporation, Arlington, VA
Erin Chaparro, RMC Research Corporation, Eugene, OR
Jennifer Ballen Riccards and Geneise Cooke, U. S. Department of Education, Washington, DC

This two-part session reviews the U.S. Department of Education's research-based recommendations for teaching reading to K-5 English language learners. Beginning with a tour of the English Learner information on the DWW website, Part I focuses on two of the five recommendations: teaching vocabulary and developing academic English. Short videos and media examples feature schools and experts as well as program assessment and reflection tools.

Doing What Works with English Learners Part II: Reading Interventions, Progress Monitoring, Peer Learning download files PDF (2M)

Chris Dwyer and Peggy Simon, RMC Research Corporation, Portsmouth, NH
Carolyn Vincent, RMC Research Corporation, Arlington, VA
Erin Chaparro, RMC Research Corporation, Eugene, OR
Jennifer Ballen Riccards and Geneise Cooke, U. S. Department of Education, Washington, DC

Part II of this topic continues a review of the U.S. Department of Education's research-based recommendations for teaching reading to young (K-5) English language learners. Part I examined two of the five recommendations that resulted from an expert panel review of existing research. Part II will discuss reading interventions, progress monitoring, and peer-assisted instruction. Short videos featuring school implementation of the practices and experts are shown. Participants will also use some practical tools related to the recommendations.

Reading First Classroom Management: Management with Movement download files PDF (1.5M)

Heather Haynes, Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts, The University of Texas at Austin
Rebecca Beegle, Children’s Learning Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center–Houston

A highly interactive session, the focus is on how to engage students in learning. Participants practice activities that use stimulus cues to enhance reading instruction. Also discussed are general classroom management principles aimed at supporting whole and small group instruction, and the relationship in the Reading First classroom between teacher-directed student movement and student engagement. A fast-paced session, come prepared to practice fun, active, rewarding learning.

Collaborating for Student Success: General Education and Special Education Working Together download files PDF (357K)

Pam Bell Morris and Colleen Reutebuch, Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts, The University of Texas at Austin

At-risk students usually see several educators daily who provide instruction related to reading. It makes sense that these educators work in concert to meet a student's needs. This session explores collaboration and response to intervention concepts of NCLB and IDEA legislation. It also discusses practical implementation, such as using Collaboration Logs to increase communication among educators, and record student responses to interventions.

RTI Stands for Really Terrific Instruction for ALL download files PDF (1.4M)

Shannon Harken, Heartland Area Educational Agency, Pleasantville, IA

The purpose of this session is to describe a framework and guiding principles for RTI to build a seamless system that meets the needs of every student. The focus is on data-based decision-making at the district, building, grade, classroom, small group, and individual student levels. Successes and challenges of specific schools are shared.

Student Engagement is the Teacher's Responsibility: Practical Strategies download files PDF (499K)

Margo Healy, Consultant, Boise, ID

Student engagement is not busy-ness! It is not talking, or writing, or viewing, or reading. It is thinking, and it is the key to creating independent learners. This session presents 15 or more engagement strategies that will have participants laughing, talking, thinking, writing, questioning, and learning. One goal is for participants to begin viewing all misbehavior as a gap in engagement or learning. The intervention for that gap is instruction. Does the student need: A skill? Information? A strategy? Encouragement? Correction of behavior is the last option.

Coaching Tools for Energizing Reluctant Colleagues download files PDF (1.5M)

Caroline Wilkinson, Consultant, Evergreen, CO

Practical tools to keep the Reading First team members energized are offered in this session. Topics include understanding the causes of resistance, the knowing-doing gap, and the change process. Participants discuss and practice strategies for asking the hard questions and saying what needs to be said. They learn techniques for giving corrective feedback, leading high-level data discussions, improving their listening, and dealing effectively with negativity. A model for one-to-one coaching is presented, including an understanding of the Ladder of Inference.

Grade-Level Team Meetings: Powerful Tools for Improving Student Achievement download files PDF (1M)

Marybeth Flachbart, Boise State University, Boise, ID and Jan Silverstein, Consultant, Denver, CO

Teamwork is a vital aspect of an effective school culture, and grade-level team meetings are at the heart of successful Reading First schools. This session explores how to make sure team meetings are student-centered and anchored in both powerful procedures and data-driven decision-making.

The Engaging Classroom: Tools and Techniques to Create an Interactive and Successful Classroom download files PDF (1.6M)

Debra Berlin, Debra Berlin Consulting, Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Interactive strategies for teaching and learning bell-to-bell are shared in this session, including easy, motivational activities that reinforce concepts and keep students focused and engaged. Participants learn questioning and partner-response techniques, academic games, and methods for helping children get along, working and learning together.

Reading Fluency Intervention Strategies download files PDF (2.9M)

Roxanne Hudson, University of Washington, Lynnwood, WA

This session focuses on instructional practices designed to improve the reading fluency of students who are not making sufficient progress and need additional small group or individual instruction. How to implement an instructional method tightly focused on improving automaticity in decoding, word, and text reading is covered. Hands-on opportunities to practice using the materials are integrated with explanation of the method.

Observing the Reading First Classroom: The Power of Brief, Drop-In Observations in Building the Big Picture download files PDF (264K)

Mo Anderson, Consultant, La Center, WA

Long on desire but short on time to observe in the classroom? Learn how to get the most out of brief, 3-5 minute, drop-in observations, with tools that offer focus and key "look-fors." Learn how to use brief "snapshots" from visits to build the big picture of the learning in the classroom. Participants will practice using the tool while watching video clips of instruction. Ideal for new coaches and principals, and anyone seeking to improve their observation skills.

What to Look For: Supervision of Comprehension and Vocabulary for Principals download files PDF (1M)

Sharon Van Vleck, Kathi Cooper, and Alice Furry, Western Regional Reading First Technical Assistance Center, RMC Research Corporation, Sacramento, CA

Comprehension and vocabulary need to be taught as explicitly as decoding, but may not be as easy to identify and monitor. This session assists principals in knowing effective comprehension and vocabulary instruction when they see it. It focuses on strategies to monitor instruction, including looking for evidence of instruction in the classroom environment, observing direct teaching, and analyzing student responses, products, and assessment data.

Constructing Learning Opportunities that Foster Complex Thinking about Text download files PDF (1M)

Deanna Birdyshaw, University of Michigan, Ypsilanti, MI

Young children are capable of discussing complex ideas encountered in a variety of texts, especially when receiving developmentally appropriate comprehension instruction. Participants learn ways to engage students in speaking, as well as reading and writing, activities that promote depth of comprehension. They hear how to create a learning environment that helps young readers reason with others in complex thinking about text. Strategies for building an understanding of a variety of narrative and informational genre also are discussed.

Intervention Strategies Teachers Can Use download files PDF (2.4M)

Elsa Hagan, Children's Learning Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center–Houston

Intervention strategies for dealing with at-risk students, including English language learners, are modeled and practiced. Participants leave with ideas of how to incorporate these effective, research-based practices into their classrooms.

Leading For Reading Success: Reading First Coaches download files PDF (440K)

Kathleen Theodore, Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Metairie, LA

Designed to enhance the knowledge and expertise of Reading First coaches, this professional development session introduces the key information in Leading for Reading Success: An Introductory Guide for Reading First Coaches. Participants become familiar with the guide's key ideas, engage in practice activities, and examine ways to effectively use the coaching tools and resources with their Reading First schools and teachers.

Extending SBRR and Reading First Elements to Grades 4 and 5 download files PDF (537K)

Drew Braun, Bethel Schools, Eugene, OR

There is a need to continue to teach reading beyond the third grade, using scientifically based reading research (SBRR) materials. Key topics in this session include the changing emphasis of reading's Big Ideas as students progress, and what are the most effective supports to offer students as they begin to read to learn.

Let's Talk About It: Vocabulary and Oral Language Development download files PDF (3M)

Mary Dahlgren, Consultant, Oklahoma City, OK

"Talk time" with students, in the classroom and individually, is of value for teaching beginning readers. This session helps teachers discover the opportunities for conversation with their students. Research on the relation of vocabulary and developing oral language, the value of reading aloud, and how teachers can ask questions that elicit details is reviewed. There is also discussion of common suffixes: why they are good to know and strategies for instruction.

Motivating Weak- and Non-Responders During Small and Large Group Instruction download files PDF (1.3M)

Annemieke Golly, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

A typical classroom may have three or four students who tend to be engaged in activities other than following teacher directions. They often are out of their seats, bothering others, using inappropriate language, and arguing. This session provides tools to determine the function of the non-responding behavior. It also discusses five basic principles of positive behavior support that can help motivate students to participate, and reviews positive preventive strategies for all students.

How to Get More Out of Your Core Reading Program download files PDF (2M)

Jo Robinson, Jo Robinson Consulting, Inc., Longview, WA

Two teachers deliver the same research-based reading program, but by the end of the school year one has brought far more students to grade level than the other. Differences in daily program delivery may be the reason. This session offers classroom-specific ideas for improving classroom management, engaging all students continuously, and providing extra practice directly related to vocabulary and comprehension strategies.

Improving Comprehension download files PDF (78K)

Jill Jackson, Jackson Consulting, Inc., Pasadena, CA

"Who can tell me?" may be the most dangerous question in education. This interactive session looks at why that’s so, and provides modeling and tools for powerful comprehension instruction. Participants will learn options to the read/follow-up-question approach to reading comprehension. A simple lesson-planning tool is introduced, and participants can analyze materials they currently use and consider how they might be energized and updated.

Using Assessment Data to Improve Student Achievement download files PDF (612K)

Greg Fancher, Kennewick School District, Kennewick, WA

The Kennewick School District in Washington is widely recognized for its success in improving student achievement, especially in reading. Using a data-driven assessment system at the district and school levels, it met a goal of 90% of its third-grade students reading at grade level. The system, used in grades K-5, helps monitor student growth, detecting reading strengths and areas of concern, and following achievement trends.

Large Breakout Sessions

Building a Vocabulary Foundation for Comprehension: Big Words for Little Kids download files PDF (605K)

Margaret McKeown, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Attention to building students' vocabulary is key to their future literacy development. Yet there is little emphasis on vocabulary in school curricula. Because young children can understand words and ideas that are well beyond the level of text they can read themselves, advantage can be taken of their listening and speaking competence to enhance their vocabulary development. Participants will learn about selecting words to teach, introducing word meanings, and developing lively, engaging ways for students to interact with word meanings.

Getting Them All Engaged: Inclusive Active Participation download files PDF (258K)

Anita L. Archer, Consultant, Portland, OR

How to engage all students at the same time in reading instruction is a constant challenge. Procedures and strategies for actively involving every student are discussed in this session, with a special emphasis on group, partner, and written responses; choral responses, discussion, hand signals, individual responses, and response cards also are noted. Procedures are explained, demonstrated, and practiced, with examples representing a range of courses and age levels. Participants also analyze the best practices demonstrated in videos.

Teaching Reading to English Learners: The Report of the National Literacy Panel for Language Minority Children and Youth download files PDF (165K)

Timothy Shanahan, University of Illinois-Chicago, Chicago, IL

While the 2000 report of the National Reading Panel (NRP) provided the research base for Reading First, it failed to include any studies on second-language learners. The National Literacy Panel has now assembled a comprehensive analysis of that research. In this session, the chair of that panel compares the two reports, and offers eight specific guidelines to help schools meet the literacy needs of English learners.

Brain Research into Reading Development download files PDF (3M)

Dennis L. Molfese and Victoria J. Molfese, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY

Acquiring reading and language skills are dependent on a number of factors, including brain development and organization. This session examines research on this relationship, presenting a neural model for reading development and disabilities. Studies on the impact of environmental, learning, and genetic factors also are summarized.

Oral Language Development and its Influence on Literacy download files PDF (3M)

Carol Connor, Florida Center for Reading Research, Tallahassee, FL

The intricate links between children's language and literacy development is the focus of this session. A review of the essential components of oral language is followed by discussion of how these language components support children's literacy development. Influences on children's language and literacy development, including home, school, and community, also are explored.

Workshop Strand Sessions

Building Comprehension through Strategy Instruction download files PDF (197K)

Nell K. Duke, Michigan State University, Ann Arbour, MI (Monday afternoon) Alisa Dorman, Consultant, Dynamic Measurement Group, Oklahoma City, OK (Tuesday morning)

Teaching reading comprehension strategies improves comprehension for both narrative and informational texts. In this workshop the essential elements of comprehension strategy instruction are outlined, and specific approaches to teaching clusters of comprehension strategies are described. There is review of successful strategies used in reading/language arts as well as approaches used in content area instruction, and participants have the opportunity to discuss plans for enhancing their comprehension strategy instruction.

Scaffolding Reading Comprehension: Preparing for Passage Reading download files PDF (464K)

Alisa Dorman, Consultant, Dynamic Measurement Group, Oklahoma City, OK (Monday afternoon) Anita L. Archer, Consultant, Portland, OR (Tuesday morning)

Comprehension is the desired outcome of all reading instruction. This workshop focuses on ways to prepare a student for increased comprehension before a passage is read. Evidence-based practices for scaffolding comprehension that will be discussed include teaching the pronunciation and meaning of critical vocabulary, teaching or activating necessary background information, and previewing expository passages. Each practice is introduced, modeled, and illustrated. In addition, video clips are used to show strategy application.


Instructional Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary to Diverse Learners: From Research to Practice : Overview of Workshop Strand download files PDF (2.2M)

Kevin Feldman, Consultant, Heldsburg, CA

Academic vocabulary is one of the best predictors of scholastic achievement; however students enter kindergarten with vastly different lexical knowledge. Effectively addressing this "language gap" must become a central concern for every teacher who is serious about accelerating literacy learning. Using compelling classroom video, modeling, and structured practice, this workshop overview explores research-based and classroom-tested strategies K-3 teachers can incorporate into daily lesions to address this challenge.

Instructional Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary to Diverse Learners: Practical Applications download files PDF (1.9M)

Kevin Feldman, Consultant, Heldsburg, CA

Practical classroom applications are share din this session with the help of classroom video, teacher modeling, and guided demonstration. Participants learn how to choose critical words and ensure that newly acquired terms are used in both speaking and writing. Methods of dealing with polysemous words, Spanish cognates, and computer-assisted instruction also are covered.

Building Vocabulary with Meaningful Instruction download files PDF (775K)

Jeanne Wanzek, Consultant, Tallahassee, FL

Critical areas for building student vocabulary and introducing new vocabulary words to students are reviewed in this workshop. Participants will learn a variety of instructional techniques for introducing new words, and hear suggestions for incorporating the techniques into an effective comprehensive reading instructional program.


The Many Faces of Coaching: Overview of Workshop Strand download files PDF (68K)

Steve Barkley, Performance Learning Systems, New Hope, PA

Successful coaches work with individual teachers, teams of teachers, resource staff, and administrators to create a culture that helps boost student achievement. This overview session encourages participants to examine current practices and consider new approaches to coaching. Areas discussed include: coach roles, ranging from mentoring to supervising; staff development; increasing buy-in and participation; types of coaching approaches, including technical, collegial, and challenge; modeling vulnerability; and forming learning communities.

From Coaching Teachers to Coaching Coaching download files PDF (599K)

Steve Barkley, Performance Learning Systems, New Hope, PA

How do coaches create a continuous improvement plan for all educators? How do they move from working with teachers as franchisees to working with teaching teams? What coach/principal conversations can drive teacher growth? This session explores coaching that uses all school personnel as resources. Also discussed: backwards planning from student achievement to staff collaboration, strategies and modeling for coaches' conversations with teachers and administrators, and improving questioning skills.

Advanced Interventions: Coordination of Day-to-Day Instruction of Students download files PDF (104K)

Christie L. Cavanaugh, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Reading coaches usually play a critical role in coordinating instruction and interventions aimed at improving reading, especially with students who receive intensive intervention over a number of years. This session focuses specifically on how the coach supports student success beyond simply coordinating and aligning various instructional efforts. Participants engage in interactive dialogue and hands-on exercises.

Teacher of Teachers: Coaching Side-by-Side download files PDF (435K)

Kim T. Rodriguez, Consultant, Austin, TX

This strategy workshop engages coaches in specific scenarios related to their work with teachers during meetings, in professional development, and in the classroom. Coaches have time to discuss and share their experiences and explore possible solutions to coaching scenarios in which coaches are working side-by-side with teachers.


Instructional Leadership: Overview of Workshop Strand download files PDF (648K)

Frances Bessellieu, Consultant, Wilmington, NC

All of the sessions within the instructional leadership strand support educational leaders in improving the instructional interaction between teachers and students. They are designed to provide relevant and practical information, including implementation strategies of classroom walk-throughs, planning for differentiated instruction, and specialized professional development. This overview session discusses the connections of these skills and strategies and shows how together they form a powerful process of improvement.

Providing Instructional Leadership Through Classroom Walk-Throughs download files PDF (763K)

Frances Bessellieu, Consultant, Wilmington, NC

The classroom walk-through is a critical part of an instructional support plan for improving student achievement. However, it is also an area in which leaders often lack the knowledge and skills to identify and communicate instructional goals and expectations. This session includes information about the purpose, value, and process of effective classroom walk-throughs. Participants learn how to use walk-through data to provide feedback to staff, inform professional development, and support ongoing instructional planning.

Planning for Differentiated Professional Development download files PDF (1.2M)

Luanne Nelson, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

Just as teachers are expected to differentiate instruction, the same is true for professional learning. The "one-size-fits-all" approach of some reading coaches is unproductive when supporting the diverse knowledge and skill sets of educators. Therefore, this session provides an overview of several coaching models as well as professional learning designs. Coaching and educational leadership go hand-in-hand, making this an ideal session for coaches seeking to implement, strengthen, or sustain a coaching program.

Last Modified: 12/07/2015